What’s the deal with Driver’s License Points?

We often hear that getting a speeding ticket will lead to points on ones driver’s license, but what does that actually mean? Hopefully, we can explain how points work in that context.

North Carolina actually utilizes two point systems for certain motor vehicle violations: driver’s license points and insurance points. This particular post will cover driver’s license points.

How does the driver’s license point system work? Convictions for some violations will result in points being added to your driving record. These points are not inconsequential and can have serious consequences. If you accumulate 7 points, you might have to take a $50 Driver Improvement Clinic. Beyond that, if you accumulate 12 points within a 3-year period, your license may be suspended for two months. After having the license reinstated, that 12-point barrier is lowered to 8 points for a suspension—6 months this time. And if you reach a third suspension, your license will be suspended for a year. Clearly, you should seek to have as few points on your record as possible.

Now that you know what happens if you get points, you need to know how you might get them. According to the NC DOT Driver Handbook, 22 separate offenses will warrant points on your record. These offenses and their corresponding point values are as follows:

Passing a stopped school bus: 5
Aggressive driving: 5
Reckless driving: 4
Hit & run, property damage only: 4
Following too closely: 4
Driving on wrong side of road: 4
Illegal passing: 4
Failure to yield right of way to perdestrian pursuant to NCGS 20-158(b)(2)b: 4
Failure to yield right of way to bicycle, motor scooter, or motorcycle: 4
Running through stop sign: 3
Speeding in excess of 55 mph: 3
Failure to yield right of way: 3
Running through red light: 3
No driver license or license expired more than one year: 3
Failure to stop for siren: 3
Driving through safety zone: 3
No liability insurance: 3
Failure to report accident where such report is required: 3
Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit: 3
Failure to properly restrain a child in a restraint or seat belt: 2
All other moving violations: 2
Littering pursuant to NCGS 14-399 when the littering involves the use of a motor vehicle: 1

These point values apply for a regular North Carolina driver’s license only—point values for operating a commercial vehicle may differ.

Clearly, it can be very easy to get points on your record. If you’ve received a citation, an attorney may be able to reduce the number of points you incur. Contact or call us today at 252-515-1051 for a free consultation.